Nationwide immigration raids in US scheduled for Sunday

World Today

Nationwide immigration raids in US scheduled for SundayU.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials wait to hand a group of asylum-seekers over to Mexican migration officials as they are returned to Mexico under the so-called Remain in Mexico program, on the international bridge between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Wednesday, July 10, 2019.(AP Photo/Salvador Gonzalez)

U.S. President Donald Trump is confirming a mass round-up of illegal immigrants in the United States will start Sunday.

Trump said the first focus will be on immigrants wanted for crimes.

His announcement, expected for weeks, comes as his Vice President Mike Pence is touring detention facilities along the U.S.-Southern border which have been highly criticized for separating families and inhumane conditions.

And in the U.S. Congress Friday, lawmakers heard harrowing testimony on conditions for migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports.

President Trump has declared the influx of migrants and asylum seekers on the southern border a national emergency.

The treatment of those migrants is being called a humanitarian emergency by his critics.

Reports of children being separated from their parents; migrants denied showers, soap, toothbrushes have shocked many.

Following recent high-profile visits to detention centers by U.S. lawmakers and immigration lawyers, the U.S. Congress has been holding hearings.

Witnesses said they were shocked by what they saw.

“I was and remain shaken to my core by what I witnessed,” said Elora Mukherjee of Columbia Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.  “I have 3 children of my own they are 3, 6 and 9. I do not have the words to explain to them what is happening to children their age in America right now. Families belong together. Children belong with their family and their loved ones that is what is required by our constitution, by our federal laws and by our basic humanity.”

But the Trump administration is not backing down.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited border facilities in Texas, looking to show the opposite side of immigration policy, a crisis – which the administration said– being handled by professional officers, simply overwhelmed by an influx of illegal immigration.

“And while we hear some Democrats in Washington DC referring to U.S. Customs and Border facilities as concentration camps, what we saw today was a faculty that is providing care that every American would be proud of,” said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Meanwhile, the U.S. President confirmed that immigration officers will begin mass deportations of illegal immigrants with existing orders to leave starting Sunday.“It starts on Sunday and they are going to take people out, and they are going to bring them back to their countries or they are going to take criminals out put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from,” said U.S. President Donald Trump.  “We are focused on criminals as much as we can, before we do anything else.”

The Trump administration said that there are 1 million deportation orders that have been issued in the U.S. that haven’t been enforced.

President Trump partially got elected on his tough stance on illegal immigration into the U.S. but stories of families being separated and unhygienic and inhumane conditions also weigh on the American public.